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Windows Server 2000/2003 Thread, Wallpaper GPO in Technical; I noticed the other day that some users didn't have the company wallpaper being displayed, and even worse, some had ...
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    Resolver's Avatar
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    Wallpaper GPO

    I noticed the other day that some users didn't have the company wallpaper being displayed, and even worse, some had Active Desktop Recovery Needed displayed. Because our users are locked out from the desktop properties, they couldn't fix it themselves. With all this in mind, I looked into our wallpaper GPO policy.

    Currently, all group OU's share the same User Policy. With the relevant parts being -Enable Active Desktop set to disabled, and Active Desktop Wallpaper set to enabled with the wallpaper being on \\server\share\background.bmp

    From what I've seen, the background seems rather hit or miss around the company. I've got a test machine next to my own that I've been running tests on.

    I've seen that the one user that everyone can use "public", is not a member of "employees" which is a security group. I put my test user in the employees group and the background worked fine. I took my test user out of the group and it stopped working. However, when public and test log in, the background flickers for a second like it's about to apply the wallpaper, but never does.

    users who are not in the employees group, do not have direct access to the \\server\share\background.bmp file. Thinking perhaps that would make a difference, I moved the file to \\server\netlogon\background.bmp and updated the GPO. verifying everyone could access the new location, I rebooted and refreshed gpupdate, but still nothing.

    Also, I've noticed when I have my test user in the employees group, and the background loads correctly; if I lock the screen or when I log out, the background changes to the default windows hill background.

    I've also tried changing the enable active desktop from disabled to enabled, since that seems to make more sense according the GPO description for that field, but it didn't make any difference.

    I hope I didn't rambled too much, it's just a lot of little pieces I'm trying to up together in my head. Any ideas what's going on here?

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    garoc's Avatar
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    Could be corrupt roaming profile! Try deleting the users roaming profile, have them log on again to recreate profile....this should sort it out! :0)

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    Resolver's Avatar
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    We don't having roaming profiles set, the only thing in the profile tab is a logon script. That's only used to sync the time and map 2 drives. I could recreate the profile itself in AD, but I don't think wallpaper merits such an extreme measure. This place runs 24/7, and there are a lot of people using that profile at all times.

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    I've had similar issues on several networks - all very annoying!
    In one of them where it was an actual issue due to internal branding etc, I resorted to using bginfo - I think there is info on that app on here with a few other recommendations etc.

  5. Thanks to itdirector from:

    Resolver (23rd November 2010)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    try setting at startup script to copy the image to the local machine then have the gpo pointing to C:\path\to\image.jpg as i have found this to be alot more reliable then from a server.

    also im guessing your clients are xp? if windows 7 theres a hotfix for desktop backgrounds not applying,

  7. Thanks to glennda from:

    Resolver (23rd November 2010)

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    Resolver's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link to Bginfo, I'd seen that used at other places and at night school, but could never figure out how to get it to display on my machines. I didn't know it was a separate app!

    I'm trying to resolve this just using GPO since that's the only thing currently in place; and I don't want to change around the IT managers original configuration too much.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    One thing, the fact that the time is synced via logon raises alarm bells as that stuff comes from the dc automatically when a machine boots and normally "user" level cant update the time on a pc and tbh manually syncing should never be needed. It is possible that the auth key is getting screwed up as the time gets changed when someone logs in resulting in no permissions to access the bmp file but it does seem unlikely.
    RE: copying the file to the PC, you could do this using GPO using GPP as its built into vista+ and can be installed in xp and that allows that type of copy using a standard ad approach rather then a manual script.

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    simpsonj's Avatar
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    The method I'm currently using, as I couldn't get Windows 7 to play ball copying files on a start up script, is to create a .msi that simply creates a folder called Backgrounds in C:\ and then pointed the GPO to use that background file path.

    If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also add a .jpg file called "backgroundDefault.jpg", and create a folder in %WINDIR%\system32\oobe called info, and another folder in that called backgrounds, so you end up with %WINDIR\system32\oobe\backgrounds\backgroundDefaul t.jpg. Once done, there is an option in Server 2008 R2 Group Policy under Computer Management - Administrative Templates - System/Logon - Always use custom background. Enable that, and the initial Windows 7 logon picture will change to the one you called backgroundDefault.jpg. I think there's registry hack as well, but i know not what that is.

    Then once the .msi is made, assign it via GP, and jobs done.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itdirector View Post
    I've had similar issues on several networks - all very annoying!
    In one of them where it was an actual issue due to internal branding etc, I resorted to using bginfo - I think there is info on that app on here with a few other recommendations etc.
    Second vote in favour of BGINFO here. Do you really need the functionality allowed for by Active Desktop?

    If not a BMP or JPG wallpaper seems to be favourite for you.

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    Resolver's Avatar
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    glennda's suggestion worked, but it took me a couple reboots to get it to apply. Which made me think I was being a bit too hasty. I instead changed it back to a network location, but moved it from \\server\share\ to \\server\netlogon

    I think your right about the time sync Zero, I noticed on the startup script an error 1314. That's not currently causing any issues, so I'll save it for another day

    I notice that the background changes when logging and locking the workstation. Not as big a deal, but I guess I'll work on that this afternoon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpsonj View Post
    The method I'm currently using, as I couldn't get Windows 7 to play ball copying files on a start up script, is to create a .msi that simply creates a folder called Backgrounds in C:\ and then pointed the GPO to use that background file path.

    If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can also add a .jpg file called "backgroundDefault.jpg", and create a folder in %WINDIR%\system32\oobe called info, and another folder in that called backgrounds, so you end up with %WINDIR\system32\oobe\backgrounds\backgroundDefaul t.jpg. Once done, there is an option in Server 2008 R2 Group Policy under Computer Management - Administrative Templates - System/Logon - Always use custom background. Enable that, and the initial Windows 7 logon picture will change to the one you called backgroundDefault.jpg. I think there's registry hack as well, but i know not what that is.

    Then once the .msi is made, assign it via GP, and jobs done.
    i have created this for our windows 7 image although the need for active desktop is still there as we would like a seperate image for desktop background rather then the login box window background. but there is a hotfix as once applied the gpo when you login you just recieve a black background as the gpo doesn't input the correct registry entries so it appears black

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    Resolver's Avatar
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    I think I'm getting a better understanding of this now. It's pretty clear that my background is "on top" of the old background. Since the default Dell background, or the default windows field background keeps appearing whenever the computer is logging/locked.

    I guess the alternative is to copy down the .bmp to the local machine, and use the registry to set the .bmp as the wallpaper, instead of an "active desktop" item?

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    @glennda I'm going to change from a server based script to one on each machine - so in aroundabout way I'm asking if there's any chance of copy of your script to copy the wallpaper to the local machine?

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    So after sending most of my day doing research I've come up with this instead. I can turn off active desktop, and thus avoid the "Active desktop has crashed" annoyances; and when they lock the station, it will keep the same wallpaper.
    :copies the file from the server if needed
    if not exist "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\background.bmp" copy \\server\netlogon\background.bmp "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\background.bmp"
    :sets the background in the registry according to local path
    reg add "hkcu\control panel\desktop" /v wallpaper /t reg_sz /f /d "C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\background.bmp"
    :stretching & tiling
    reg add "hkcu\control panel\desktop" /v wallpaperstyle /t reg_sz /f /d 2
    reg add "hkcu\control panel\desktop" /v tilewallpaper /t reg_sz /f /d 0
    :sets the background white (may need reboot to take effect)
    reg add "hkcu\control panel\colors" /v Background /t reg_sz /f /d "255 255 255"
    :refreshes system with new settings
    RunDll32.exe USER32.DLL,UpdatePerUserSystemParameters , 1, True

    Thoughts, suggestions?
    Last edited by Resolver; 24th November 2010 at 04:06 PM.

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    Resolver's Avatar
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    Oh, and this one...

    reg add "hkcu\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\ex plorer\advanced" /v ListviewShadow /t reg_dword /f /d "0"

    since I use a white wallpaper, this turns off the shadow effect, and instead displays black text.

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